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Archive for June 9, 2011

6-9-11 Black-capped Chickadees Fledging

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Once in a great while your timing is perfect, and mine certainly was when I last visited the chickadee nest I’ve been keeping an eye on this spring.  The food delivery service by the parents grew noticeably slower and slower as the morning progressed, in an attempt, I believe, to get the nestlings so frustrated (and hungry) that they would venture out of the nest cavity on their own.  The final insult occurred when the father (whose tail differed in shape from the mother’s, otherwise the sex would not be discernable) arrived at the hole with a plump, green caterpillar, disappeared inside, and then immediately exited the hole, with the caterpillar still in his beak.  This appeared to be more than the nestlings could stand; one brave soul appeared at the hole and took flight (followed by two others).  Although his first aerial experience was somewhat lacking in grace, the first fledgling managed to find a nearby perch and appeared triumphant!